Our Awesome Exotic Anniversary Trip

We wanted to do something memorable for our ten-year anniversary, but we also decided that we were going to stay "home". . . as in, we weren't going to go stay overnight anywhere.

One of Steve's servers went to the Bonneville Seabase in Grantsville this summer and declared it the neatest thing he had done in Utah. I took his word for it and called and made reservations for me, Steve, Rachel, and Lucy to go snorkeling with the tropical fish in the middle of land-locked Utah.

(And I know it's not typical to invite your kids to tag along on your anniversary date, so we must be super cool parents.)

I'm not sure what I was expecting, but I drove right by it:

Maybe I was too distracted looking at all of the snow on the mountains:

If anything, it only made the idea of snorkeling in the middle of the desert seem even more bizarre. We were quickly greeted and hurried inside because they were waiting for us to arrive so they could feed the fish.

First reactions:

They are standing a good eight feet from the water. Getting them in the geothermal pools did not look very likely.

Steve got out there and willingly fed some fish:

"Fed some fish" is a bit of an understatement. These were 36" tropical fish that were vigorously jumping in and out of the saltwater.

And a stingray that actually jumps up partway out of the water to be hand fed. (There are two stingrays at Seabase. Their names are Steve and Irwin.)

Oh yeah. And a shark.

It is actually just a nurse shark, but any kind of shark is pretty exciting. (There are two at Bonneville Seabase.)

Lucy started to warm up to things and wanted to let the little "mollies" nibble on her fingers:

And then she was ready to go. We watched a 15-minute video and then she and Steve suited up in their wetsuits and snorkeling gear:

Lucy required minimal coaxing and got right in the water with Steve:

Steve and Lucy went off snorkeling and I happily took on the role of photographer.

It wasn't too long before Rachel decided she wanted in too, so I went and got her suited up:

Getting her in the water was a completely different story. This picture shows the last time Rachel smiled for a while. It turned into a bit of a production and I might have uninvited her to any future anniversary trips.

Steve finally gave up on Rachel and went back to snorkeling with Lucy.

Lucy eventually got out for a minute so Steve could feed the fish romaine lettuce:

And then we moved over to the Abyss where it was a good ten degrees warmer and only had small fish. We really should have started in that pool; Rachel got right in. This isn't a great picture, but it was the only one I got of all three of them together:

Lucy was a rockstar.

And Steve was too. Because as long as you're there, you have to pay the extra $5 and let the guy throw tuna at your head to attract all of the fish. It was pretty awesome. And since I had so much fun making Adam's Columbus Day video, I made another one:

And for those curious how much our fun day at Bonneville Seabase cost us:

Water entrance fee: $20 (x 3)
Snorkeling gear rental: $11 (x 3)
Wet suit rental: $8 (x 3)
Romaine lettuce: $2
Tuna: $5

Total cost: $124

Steve wants to go back for their "scuba experience" so he can go to the bottom and pet the sharks.

Completely unexpected. Absolutely incredible.


Kayli said...

You didn't get in?! Anyway that does look awesome-- it would have been really cool if you had had an underwater camera. Happy anniversary!

emily ballard said...

No, I didn't get in. My range of motion in my arms still isn't very good, and it hurts a little to be in a downward position like that. Plus, it worked out really well for me to be out (and dry) to help with the girls.

Rebecca said...

I was going to ask if you got in too. Shoot! Well that was nice of you to do that for your anniversary trip even though you didn't get to get in. Happy late anniversary by the way...

Those videos are fabulous! What did you edit them in?

emily ballard said...

I used iMovie. I was about to download it. . . and then I realized it was already on my computer.